A person doesn’t wake up in the morning and say, “I think I’ll be depressed today.” It just doesn’t work like that. People who are depressed don’t ask to feel that way. In fact, when depression is left untreated, it can become fatal. There are many reasons for depression, but choice isn’t one of them because depression is a legitimate medical condition – a mental illness.
Depression isn’t prejudiced. It doesn’t care what race, sex, or age you are. It doesn’t ask if you’re rich or poor or where you live, and it can creep up on anyone, at any time.
We’re going to look at some of the causes of depression, but first, you need a clear understanding of the difference between feeling down for a day versus a more severe case of depression.
Is it Temporary or is it a More Severe State of Depression?
Not every day is perfect, and at times you might feel a little down. Doom and gloom might overcome you on a cold or rainy day. Sometimes you might not feel well, and it’s normal to be somewhat depressed on a day like that. Maybe you experienced a disappointment or a change in your life. In these cases, feeling gloomy is expected, but if that sensation goes on for a couple of weeks and begins to interfere with your thinking, your daily routine, or if it causes a change in your sleeping and eating habits, then you might be falling into a more severe state of depression.
The 8 Most Common Causes of Depression
There isn’t a single cause of depression. Many causes lie behind the illness, and pinpointing the root of the condition can dramatically affect treatment. The following are some of the most common causes:
- Life changing events
- Chronic illness
- Death of a loved one
- Lack of socialization
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Let’s examine this list a little more in detail.
You might be thinking about your mom or brother who suffered from depression. According to HealthLine.com, genetics can put you at a higher risk for developing depression, but it doesn’t guarantee it. There’s no need to drown yourself in constant worry of developing the illness just because Uncle Ted did.
#2: Life Changing Events
When you experience a life changing event, good or bad, such as a job or financial change, marriage or divorce, menopause, and even the birth of a child, you have a strong possibility of experiencing depression. Paterson & Dowding family lawyer offices are constantly informing the public that, sometimes it’s not easy to deal with change, and during that time you might need some help. Be sure to talk about your feelings and stay busy; keep your mind on positive things, and get plenty of rest.
#3: Chronic Illness
According to WebMD, a chronic illness is one that exists for a long time, and even though it might seem to improve, it will never be completely cured. Many times, dealing and coping with such an illness can cause depression. If this sounds like something you are dealing with, talk to your health care provider for advice on a healthy way to cope with your illness and depression.
#4: Death of a Loved One
If you have ever experienced the loss of a loved one, then you probably know that not everyone deals with it in the same way. Whether it’s a spouse, a parent, a close friend, or another family member, it’s never an easy situation to handle. You may become overwhelmed with new responsibilities, or maybe you’re faced with having to live alone for the first time in years. No matter the situation, it can cause you to fall into a severe state of depression.
Traumatic events are sure causes of depression, and abuse of any kind — mental, physical, sexual, even an event involving alcoholism — is certainly a traumatic event in one’s life. There are many negative effects that develop from abuse; not all the bruises are visible. A person who has been abused may be filled with anger, hurt, and low self-esteem. A victim of abuse may have trust issues, which can make it hard for them to talk about their feelings. Without the proper help, they can easily fall into a deep depression.
#6: Lack of Socialization
It’s important to socialize with friends and family. Going to a movie or the gym will keep your mind busy and talking with others face-to-face will help a lot. If you work all the time and do nothing to relax, or you’re always alone, you are at serious risk of depression. Stop sending text messages and forget the online games. Go out and have some fun face-to-face!
Certain medications that are used to treat acne, high blood pressure, insomnia, cholesterol, and anxiety are just some of the medications that can cause depression. Even birth control can lead to depression. It’s important to check with your doctor regarding the side effects of medications, especially if you have a history of depression or it’s in your genetic profile.
#8: Seasonal Affective Disorder
Have you ever noticed how your mood changes when spring comes around? The sound of the birds singing and the scent of the flowers blooming make a difference in your mind. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that is common any time from September or October until the beginning of spring. The symptoms are similar to other forms of depression, but it generally reoccurs each season, lasting the same amount of time.
These are just eight of the most common cause of depression, and there are several treatment options available to help. It’s important to talk with your healthcare provider if you’re experiencing any signs of depression, and if your depression is causing suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or reach out to someone you trust.
Remember, depression isn’t a choice; it’s an illness. It doesn’t make you weak, and it doesn’t mean you’re making bad decisions. Most importantly, it’s a condition that can be treated. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!